Emotions erupted in the courtroom where Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted of murdering Meredith Kercher on Monday.
An Italian court overturned the murder conviction from 2007, when Seattle-native Knox and Italian Sollecito were convicted for murdering Knox's British flatmate, Kercher, while studying abroad in Italy. Knox was sentenced to a fine for defamation, after already serving four years in prison though she maintained her innocence. Both Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, were released from a Perguria prison on Monday evening.
Knox appealed to the court in a passionate, emotional speech, speaking fluently in Italian. As the verdict was announced, 24-year-old Seattle-native Knox collapsed in tears with sister, Deanna Knox, and mother, Edda Mellas.
We're thankful that the nightmare is over, Deanna Knox said. She has suffered for four years for a crime that she did not commit. We are thankful to the court for looking for the truth. We now respectfully ask you to give her family the privacy to recover from this horrible ordeal.
Following the verdict, some people in the crowd were cheering while others shouted murderer.
Earlier in the day, Meredith Kercher's family made a statement to Perugian media that they will never forgive Knox.
We respect the decision of the judges but we do not understand how the decision of the first trial could be so radically overturned, the statement said. We still trust the Italian judicial system and hope that the truth will eventually emerge.